Ask any parent what stresses them out the most about the kids going to back to school and you are likely to hear about the avalanche of paper that begins to pile up daily. School calendars, contact sheets, homeroom announcements, activities, clubs, projects, field trips….agh!!!
This year, I am trying to keep my head above water by creating an organizational system early. We keep a family calendar on paper at my desk to track work, school, sports, health, and vacation schedules. I also try to put up monthly schedules on the dry erase board in our entry way. I have slacked off a lot on this over the summer–but here is a photo of our basic command system. I apologize for the blurry cell photo.
Ahhh…so empty and fresh when we first installed it!
I have two kids and the idea is that each one gets a file basket and bulletin board for information. Last year, I tried to use file folders in the baskets…but the information got mixed up and it was hard to find anything. This year, I bought one binder with file tabs for each kid.
Possible Tab Topics
- Need to Know–schedules, contacts, locker combos, websites/login information
- Action: Active projects by subject, Upcoming field trips, school photos, deadlines of any kind, scheduled activities or clubs. It provides a home for the endless fliers and permission slips.
- Health–copies of immunizations, physicals, any 504 learning plans
It’s in the early stages–my middle schooler might need a folder for each subject or activity. Their schedules are far more complex than my elementary student.
I am not a huge fan of the dry erase board. I am not very neat when I print and sometimes I forget to update it. It doesn’t eliminate my need for a computerized schedule. However, it is great to glance at when we walk in and out of the house to keep focused.
For the tech side, I’m trying out Cozi this year. It allows me to keep a color coded schedule for each family member–including the dog. My one complaint is that I would love for Cozi to be available on the computer. Typing is faster when I’m entering info. Still, it’s convenient on the cell phone or tablet. I love that there are to do lists and that it can be shared within the family devices.
The kids enjoy placing party invites and photos on their bulletin boards throughout the year.
I would love to hear how you organize for back to school?